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Table Scraps

Join the Mountain Club

We were four girls on the town with plenty to celebrate, but not a lot of cash to spend.

High-heeled and fabulous, our little black dresses fit right into the newest restaurant and lounge. We could have been wearing hoodies and toques and that would have been just fine too.

That’s what makes the just-opened Mountain Club such an awesome addition to Whistler — anything goes and it appeals to fine dining taste buds as well as Whistler-budgeted wallets.

I already had a sneak peak at the Mountain Club opening day when a group of friends decided to chase bubbly at the Bearfoot Bistro down with cocktails from the new joint located across from the village gazebo.

We sat in the trendy lounge with bar seating and lounge tables dressed in leather, wood and cozy lighting. It was there that I fell in love with the Green Party — only no tree hugging necessary.

This global fusion created by cocktail chef and Whistlerite Darryl McDonald shakes up lemongrass-infused vodka with fresh muddled coriander and ginger with fresh pineapple juice and Giffard Limon Giallo over ice. Everything a savoury cocktail drinker could ever hope for with all the fanfare of something poured at a five-star restaurant without the colossal price. Wait for it. Six dollars. But this isn’t a boozin-it hangout lounge. More of a sophisticated yet relaxed catch up with friends meeting place that pours into the a.m. hours.

At the time, the Club didn’t offer the Late Night 2 for 1 Menu after 11 p.m., but this great deal for a late dinner for two gives you every reason to break mom’s advice of not eating after 8 p.m. For city dwellers, eating late is nothing new, and service industry staff are already well on the bandwagon with so many choices to pick from.

Grilled squid salad, duck leg confit, sockeye salmon, pork and beef tenderloin, MC burger, and fish and chips are a few items to look forward to in the witching hours.

But don’t let the regular-Joe titles throw you off. There is nothing regular about them.

The MC Burger boasts molasses-braised short ribs with caramelized onions for $16 and the MC Fish and Chips showcases halibut cheeks, prawn and Pollock with yam fries for $21 — if you are a fry freak like me, you’ll be returning just for these cinnamon-tossed delectables.

So back to my evening with the girls. Like all fabulous women, half of our party was late, so two of us caught up over cocktails in the lounge. The sake addition to the Tokyo Rose mix caught my attention, but it was the Giffard rose syrup that kept it good to the last drop. Super girly, but not overly sweet. I insisted my girlfriend indulge in the politically green concoction. Then she insisted we both indulge in it again a few nights later, along with the must-return-again blue-cheese cheesecake with port-poached pear. No arguments from me.

Finally the gang arrived and we filtered into the restaurant side — rich décor, both contemporary and warm.

The menu is divided into ocean and earth with items such as ahi, lobster pasta, venison carpaccio and roast chicken. I had heard about the infamous Mac & Cheese and despite Kraft Dinner fears, I was ready to live on the dangerous side of dining. More like dangerously good.

Food with a sense of humour, Mac & Cheese turns out to be baked-brie macaroni cooked perfectly el dente with two of the largest and most mouth watering molasses-braised short ribs this side of the city. The stringy meat pulled delicately from the bone, shattering any past horrors of chowing down on the Fred Flintstone variety. Executive chef Doug Scott delivers a creative, fun menu with fine-dining sensibilities based on taste, preparation and quality of ingredients.

With the large entrée and a wonderful amuse bouche of beef tartar I barely had room left over for sharings of the almond mascarpone cake. But with Thomas Haas chocolate sauce what sane woman could resist?

The Club has an extensive wine list that includes everything from the reasonable to the ridiculous. Andre Thomas, who won wine list accolades during his former reign at the Four Seasons’ Fifty Two 80 Bistro, heads the Club crusade as wine director and managing partner.

So join the Club. Membership includes unique plates, chill vibes and reasonable prices — and if I had my way, initiation would be a Green Party with politics the gossip at the bar.